It was for TikTok was blocked last Sunday (20) in the United States, but, at 45 of the second half, an agreement between ByteDance (Chinese company that owns the social network), Oracle and Walmart avoided the worst, at least for now. The partnership between the three companies received support from the president Donald Trump.
There are still details about the agreement to be revealed, but the first information indicates that an entity based in the United States will be created to allow joint control of TikTok. It will generate 25,000 jobs in the country.
80% of TikTok Global, as the new organization was named, will be in the hands of ByteDance. The remaining 20% will be shared between Oracle and Walmart.
It is noteworthy that Walmart initially supported the purchase of TikTok by Microsoft. Everything indicates that, as ByteDance did not accept the proposal, Walmart ran to join the name that appeared in this story soon after: Oracle.
Basically, Oracle will provide cloud structure for TikTok and take care of the data of American users on the social network. Walmart will bring its e-commerce and advertising technology to the platform.
But it is too early to talk about a happy ending. In commenting on the deal, Trump signaled that the new entity will be controlled by Americans and will result in the payment of $ 5 billion in taxes to the United States government. However, ByteDance has already taken a “not so” position.
To begin with, the company stated that the $ 5 billion is just an estimate of the total taxes that TikTok Global will pay over the next few years if the deal succeeds.
In addition, ByteDance said it will maintain control over the platform’s algorithms. Oracle may even have access to the service’s source code, but in a limited way, only for security checks.
As the Trump administration accuses TikTok of acting as a Chinese government spying tool, the majority control of TikTok Global by ByteDance may not be enough to remove the risk of blocking the application in the United States altogether.
Let us wait for the next chapters.
WeChat also saves itself
Last week, the United States Department of Commerce stated that, in addition to TikTok, the WeChat – a very popular messaging service in China – would also be banned on Sunday. However, a lawsuit filed by platform users prevented blocking.
They claim that the restriction would conflict with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression. This is because, for many users of the Chinese community established in the country, WeChat is the only viable means of communication by messages.
There are two main reasons for this: the application is not blocked in China; even living in the United States, many members of this community have little fluency in English and, therefore, turn to WeChat for communication with friends and family.
For Laurel Beeler, a California court judge who served the case, there is little evidence that the ban on WeChat would be significant for the national security of the United States. In addition, she argues that there are more suitable alternatives to this than the general block, such as barring the application only on government devices.